Circular economy, how to put your software back into circulation

in collaboration with Relicense

The circular economy that is so much talked about today at European level can also be applied to software. Almost 10 years have passed since the regulation of the Court of Justice of the European Union which on 3 July 2012 clarified how to “legally” sell excess perpetual software licenses, respecting very specific conditions.

Just as many companies sell their old hardware when they no longer need it, the same can do with software with the advantage, not being a physical asset, that the software does not wear out and does not break down.

The software is always as good as new, as originally purchased at least as long as the update service is offered by the manufacturer, which usually lasts about 10 years from the release date.

Why should a company sell its licenses? Well in the meantime, to have sums of money to spend on other business activities, and then the concept of reuse, putting something on the market that we are not using, benefits the environment because something that already exists and that can have a destination is not produced. somebody else.

The sale process is complex and for this reason there are few companies specialized in this sector, Relicense is one of them: over 13 years of experience throughout Europe in the sale of Microsoft software by volume.

Many have no idea how this process takes place, which is really very specific, because it involves a backward investigation in order to find all the documentation that starting from the first purchase, perhaps made 20 years earlier, shows the whole story, the cd family tree of licenses.

If a customer presents licenses that do not have all the necessary documentation, there is a red light (you cannot go on) or an orange light in that case Relicense helps the company to find these documents to obtain a perfect certified proof of origin.

For larger clients, an independent auditor should be involved to evaluate and confirm that license purchase chains are perfect.

It is very interesting to follow this process, to understand what happened to a license, it is like taking a journey through time, it almost seems to be doing a “core drill” in the ice, you discover details and very useful information also to plan future IT purchases. For example, by discovering which products have been installed over time, you can see that on average a company skips at least one version (in 35% of cases 2 versions) and therefore many purchases over the years have been useless, they could have easily (if they had known then) avoid buying products that they would not use, and especially when renewing, give up the old licenses before buying the new ones.

Attention, he hoped to get carried away by an excess of euphoria and maybe think of doing the second deal by buying for a few euros those that are not used licenses but only activation keys. They may work, but they are not licensed.

This is not a reuse market but something else that can have legal consequences for those who practice it (both those who sell and those who buy).

Although Microsoft does not really support the sale of used licenses by its customers, we still observe that this work is never hindered, that customers have tangible proof that this process is correct, and can spend the money made from these sales in the budget. IT future.